Autonomy and Regional Hegemony

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Azim Hussain
Professor Michael Strausz
POSC 33613-30
October 4, 2010
Autonomy and Regional Hegemony
If there is one Nation who has endured more change as well as maintained constant thirst of power, that nation would be Japan. In accordance of an ever-changing International system, Japan responds to theses changes through 6 patterns described by the Realist theory. I will argue through this essay that indeed Pyle is correct in identifying that the pattern of Autonomy and Regional Hegemony is a long-term characteristic of Japan’s foreign policy. This is seen not only through Japan past history of total dominance in the East Asian region, but as well as in the current stance where Japan seeks land disputes with neighboring nation as well as their attempt to change Article 9 in their constitution. Japan truly embodies the aspect id Regional Hegemony.

According to Merriam-Webster hegemony is defined as “preponderant influence or authority over others” (Merriam-Webster). As one interprets this definition one stumbles upon the synonym Dominance that juxtaposes Hegemony. Regional Hegemony therefore would apply to Japan as a total dominance of influence within the East Asian countries, main focus on China. If this notion is a long-term notion, it must be intertwined within the origins of Japan. During the Bakufu period [1600-1868] the “Tokugawa Ieyasu from Edo defeated the domains Satsuma and Choshu” (Strausz 8/27/2010), and distributes Japan lands into different tribal lands, “giving themselves the most” (Strausz 8/27/2010) while their enemies received minimal lands. The Tokugawa remained in dominance by their method of keeping everyone represented in the central government, with them having a greater voice. They maintained their Hegemony throughout this region by dominating and enforcing their rule to the weaker states allowing the Tokugawa to be strong and have it influenced be reflected in their political and social domain.

As the Tokugawa regime ends...
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